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Comfort kills. Are you doing something on a daily basis that pushes you a little? by Elise Russell

Creative Mornings Inspirational Quotes

I occasionally attend the monthly meetup with a group called Creative Mornings. After spending some time networking over a cup of coffee and a bite of breakfast, we sit down for a short presentation. Each month the presentation revolves around a theme, such as courage, commitment, broken. Each theme is meant to spark inspiration within ourselves and conversation amongst each other. I have taken some quotes shared by Creative Mornings. I like quotes not only because they can be inspiring but also because often times we want to only read small bits of information. Enjoy! “Anxiety brings with it massive energy and it is what we do with that energy which separates us.” — Laurie-Beth Robbins “The future is crafted by those who do work they don’t have to.” — Scott Belsky “Humility is actually an act of strength. You have to have a really solid core to expose yourself to the discomfort, and to some degree, the suffering, of not being good at something.” — Amy Sandman “Startups don’t die because they run out of money, they die because…

Before you even think about blogging.

What is Your Website Missing?

Travis Pflanz, co-organizer of WordPress KC meetup group and part of the WordCamp Kansas City organizing team, presented at WordCamp 2018 in a session titled, “Before You Blog: Everything Your WordPress Business Website is Missing”. Because the target audience for WordCamp is users of WordPress, a common platform for blogging, Travis uses the term, “blog”, but these tips apply to any website. It is important to keep the content on a website fresh and up to date. This will keep people coming back to visit your site. Update often, write new text, post new articles. Use calls to action. I thought about what calls of action we could use on grocery store websites. How about a link to listen to a related podcast or video? If appropriate, provide a link to “get more information” or “buy now”. Put the store’s location and phone number in the footer in addition to the Contact page. This way it is visible on every page of the website. State the purpose of your business. As much as people don’t like to read, an in-depth…

Sweet Content Hacks: A practical approach for writing that sizzles

Sweet Content Hacks

As I was looking through the sessions offered at WordCamp this year, a session titled, “Sweet Content Hacks: A Practical Approach for Writing That Sizzles” by Greta K Perel, PhD caught my attention. I was hoping to get some inspirational writing tips for our Sales Services blog and perhaps some ideas on what to write about. I really like writing. The problem I struggle with is coming up with a topic I think my audience will be interested in. In our session, Greta asks the questions, “How do we break through writer’s block?” and “How can we improve our writing that will engage an audience?” When you write, have one purpose or one point you want to get across. Keep in mind what you learned in school about sentence and paragraph structure but don’t be too formal. You should sound like a real person talking to real people. It’s ok to start a sentence with a preposition or use contractions. Because people have become lazy about reading and want to consume a lot of information at one time, it is…

KCDesignCore - a visual design community

Put the MOVES on Your Work – KC DesignCore recap

One of the disciplines I like most in design is animation. My first job out of college was at a TV station. I designed mostly static images for the newscast, but I had the opportunity to learn 2-D animation and I loved it! Since then, I’ve had a few projects where I’ve been able to make my designs move. I was re-inspired at the latest event I attended to play around with the animation tools I have access to. At KC DesignCore’s meetup last month, “Put the MOVES on your work”, Kyle Hamrick and Jim Hinds demonstrated how to use Adobe applications to create motion. Hamrick is a trainer for Adobe Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop. At the event, he showed some examples of motion graphics and walked through how to make them in After Effects (AE). AE is a robust application that can be used in conjunction with other Adobe apps such as Illustrator and Premiere. Although it can create 2D animation, it is most widely used for 3D animation and special effects. I bet you’ve seen it used…

What am I paying for?

Why Do Websites Cost So Much?

We try our best to minimize the cost of our website services to fit a small independent grocer’s budget, offering very competitive prices, but there are some things we can’t see cutting corners on. The truth is a good website is an expensive investment. The initial price tag covers only the build of the site. After the site is built, it is necessary to maintain the website with ongoing costs. I’m going to briefly explain the components we include in the websites we build and maintain. Domain Name We help select a domain name that is a good fit for your store and something that is easy for customers to type in on the Internet. This includes checking to see if the domain name is available. If it is not available, we check on additional choices until we find one you are happy with. We then register the domain name and renew it each year. Design and Development Building a website requires the expertise of a web designer, web developer and a copywriter. In many cases one person is trained…

Google search

AMA Recap: The Future of Search

American Marketing Association (AMA) held a workshop titled, “The Future of Search”. Scott Schaper from Unravel talked about the trends of Internet browsing over the years and Google’s ever-changing algorithm. Considering Google dominates searches on the Internet with 90% of the market, it is important to try to stay on top of what they are up to. One of the big things they are up to right now is making non-secure connections more apparent to website users. I talked about this a few months ago in SSL Certificate = Secure Connection. Browsers have begun showing discreet warnings. I’ve noticed some people question and show concern over these warnings, while others are either not bothered by them or they don’t even notice them. Google plans to make those warnings more prominent to users in their Chrome browser. I first heard this was going to happen in October of this year but I haven’t seen it yet. Schaper is saying it will happen in January of 2018. Security was only one of the topics covered in the workshop regarding a user’s experience.…

Kindness + Empathy = Loyalty

Adobe MAX 2017 Recap: Building Fun, Creative Work Environments

Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Creative Mornings and owner of SwissMiss design blog and studio, was one of the speakers at Adobe MAX this year. She talked about some of the values she bases her companies on, her approach to being a leader and her favorite interview questions. She is genuine and inspiring and has a unique way of building fun and creative work environments. Tina was trained as a graphic designer in Switzerland and Germany but had a dream to go to New York City. She recalls the business owner who hired her for her first job in NY and continues to show gratitude toward him. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward Becoming a mom inspired Tina to pursue other dreams she had in life, such as starting her own design studio and her own blog. She says, “I’m a better boss because I’m a mom and I’m a better mom because I’m a boss. Both of these roles force you to really think about what…

KCDMA - Flipping the Funnel

“Flipping the Funnel” – KCDMA Luncheon Recap

Account Based Marketing Strategies for Niche Audiences Selling a product or service in a highly competitive marketplace can be a challenge, especially if you are trying to reach a unique audience. Having a small marketing budget makes the challenge even greater. Angela Ridpath, Vice President of Marketing at MCH Strategic Data, spoke at this month’s KCDMA Luncheon. She shared how MCH breaks away from the traditional marketing strategy by flipping the funnel. With the traditional conversion funnel, you market to a large audience of potential customers but only a small percentage of that audience takes action and becomes your customers. What happens when you first identify who your customers are and market only to them? This is what a flipped funnel would look like. After identifying your audience, dedicate a lot of time creating high quality content. At the presentation, Angela passed around an example of a direct marketing piece that was mailed to their target audience. It was similar to one of those greeting cards that plays an audio clip when the card is opened. In this example a…

https:// secure connection

SSL Certificate = Secure Connection

I used to think only websites that accept credit card information need an SSL certificate. Although those websites do need the highest level of security, they are not the only websites that need a certificate. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is used to validate your website’s identity and encrypt the information sent to and received from your website. This keeps hackers from being able to see and steal private information. Source: dzone.com Internet browsers are now making it more apparent when a website does not have a certificate by showing some of these indicators. In most cases, this is nothing to be alarmed about, but it does give customers a sense of insecurity. Some people viewing these websites feel vulnerable to having their personal information stolen or publicized. Although the majority of our retailer websites do not require a customer to sign in when viewing the website, we do offer an option to register and sign in. Registering gives customers the ability to sign up for email newsletters or text messaging. They can save shopping lists and recipes,…

Graphic for Wordcamp Kansas City 2017.

WordCamp recap – Digital Business Decisions

“Entrepreneurs are the most creative, risk-taking people, but they are in denial of what they really need.” —Melissa Roberts, speaker at WordCamp Kansas City 2017. While I was at WordCamp – Kansas City, I sat in on a session targeted toward business owners. I walked away with some good questions for our retailers to ask themselves when they are considering a website or other digital marketing services for their store. 1. How complex should my website be? How serious am I about my business? Is it a business or a hobby? 2. Who is my customer? What are their demographics and interests? 3. Where and how does my customer make buying decisions? (website, social media, email) 4. What is my brand identity and positioning? What is my unique value proposition (UVP)? A UVP is a clear statement that describes how you solve your customer’s needs and what distinguishes you from the competition. 5. How much should I pay for a website? Some entrepreneurs want to do their own website, then find they are spreading themselves too thin and do not…

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